Former AKP deputy detained in major ‘parallel state’ operation
ISTANBUL / ANKARA
DHA photoA former Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy was detained early on Dec. 11 in Istanbul as a part of a fresh wave of operations targeting the alleged “parallel state” of sympathizers of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.
Counter-terrorism police conducted operations in 10 provinces across Turkey including Istanbul, Ankara and Şanlıurfa, and a number of detentions were reported.
Former AKP İzmir deputy İlhan İşbilen was detained in Istanbul and was taken for a health check. He is expected to be sent to Ankara.
İşbilen had served as the general manager of daily Zaman and Samanyolu TV, outlets known as being close to Gülen. He had resigned from the AKP after the Dec. 17-25 corruption operations and stood as an independent candidate in the June 7 general election.
Meanwhile, police also sought to detain the medical doctor of Gülen, but he was not at home in Istanbul’s Beylikdüzü district when they arrived.
Detention warrant for Akın İpek
A detention warrant was issued on Dec. 11 for 65 suspects as a part of an Ankara-based operation targeting top figures of alleged “parallel state,” state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
The suspects included the former editor-in-chief of Daily Zaman Ekrem Dumanlı, the CEO of the Koza İpek group Akın İpek, Samanyolu TV head Hidayet Karaca, who is already under arrest, and Fatih University rector Professor Şerif Ali Tekalan.
Forty-three of the suspects are reported to have been abroad when the police arrived to detain them.
The massive prove of Dec. 11 came a day after a Turkish government-backed lawsuit has been filed against Gülen in the United States.
A lawyer hired by the Turkish government, Robert Amsterdam, provided a copy of the filing in the U.S. district court in Pennsylvania. The lawsuit alleges that Gülen orchestrated human rights abuses from his residence in Pennsylvania against three men in Turkey.
It alleges that Gülen ordered followers among the police and judiciary to plant evidence against the three men and build false criminal cases that led to their imprisonment.
The Turkish government claims Gülen has been running a parallel state by getting his followers into key positions in state institutions, including the police and judiciary.
It has labelled Gülen’s movement a terrorist organization. Gülen has denied the allegations. The suit dated Dec. 7 alleges that Gülen targeted the three men because they were part of a rival spiritual movement critical of his teachings.